Are we at sea on marine plastic pollution?
India is considered the twelfth-largest source of marine litter and is projected to become the fifth-largest by 2025. The Ganga has been documented as one of the top-five rivers dumping plastics into oceans. India, as per 2017-18 estimates, consumes 16.5 mt of plastic annually, 43% of which was towards the manufacture of single-use plastic material. The Covid-19 outbreak has exacerbated this situation, with the pandemic demanding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as suits, masks and gloves that are often discarded in unscientific ways. With our country generating close to 101 tonnes/ day of Covid-19-related biomedical waste, the need to handle this stream of waste has grown significantly.